Written by SSDP Trustee Shaleen Title ’02 and originally published on TheInfluence.org.
People often speak of the once-in-a-lifetime opportunities that come with building a new, legal marijuana industry
from scratch. The opportunities are real, but the premise forgets something: This industry isn’t
being created from scratch.
Instead, it’s replacing two things that already existed: an illicit market from which many marginalized people have been able to make a living, and a system of prohibition that has ruined people’s lives by arresting and incarcerating them for doing the very thing people are now receiving licenses to do.
This distinction is important when we consider whether the new industry’s structure repairs
that damage or, as in the case of felony exclusions, prolongs
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